Surgical repair of the ossicular chain, also known as ossiculoplasty, is a procedure to repair or reconstruct damaged or discontinued ossicles of the middle ear. The ossicles refer to the three tiny bones of the middle ear: malleus, incus, and stapes. The ossicles sit between between the eardrum and the inner ear. Their function is to transmit and amplify sound.
Hearing impairment occurs when there is damage to one or more ossicles of the middle ear. Ear infections, eustachian tube dysfunction, tympanic membrane retraction and trauma can cause damage to the ossicles. The damaged ossicular chain is repaired with a titanium prosthesis.
Ossiculoplasty may be performed on its own or in conjunction with other ear surgery. Eg; repair of the eardrum, removal of cholesteatoma, or middle ear exploration.
The ossicles are examined for mobility. Damaged ossicles may be removed. A Titanium TORP (total ossicular replacement prosthesis) or PORP (partial ossicular replacement prosthesis) may be used to re-establish the hearing mechanism. At the end of the procedure, the tympanic membrane is returned to its normal position and the ear canal is packed with dissolvable gelfoam.